Landlord Access to Your Property
As a tenant the law guarantees you have a right to "quiet enjoyment" of your property. You’re free to live undisturbed and have privacy in your home.
Anyone who wishes access, must first ask for your permission, including the landlord and the police (unless a court order grants them access).
Your landlord or their representatives may be allowed reasonable access to carry out inspections or repairs, but must first get your permission.
According to Section 11, from The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985:
- Your landlord needs to give you at least 24 hours notice before they come around and visit for any reason.
- Their visits must occur in reasonable times of the day.
- If you tenancy agreement says your landlord has full access to the property, then your landlord is trying to enforce an illegal clause.
- You can explicitly forbid access to your property.
- Anyone who enters without your permission is a trespasser and may be guilty of harassment.
Why it's important to grant access
- While you hold the ultimate authority to control the access of your home, landlords also have a right to enter, as they need access to uphold their responsibilities for repairs and maintenance and scheduled inspections.
- If you completely shut the landlord off the property, it’s very likely that they see this as an antisocial act and look into eviction.
- Be reasonable and try to cooperate for the both of your benefits. Act respectfully and maintain a healthy tone in your communication.
- If you have a difficulty attending to a 24 hour notice, propose your landlord to give you a week’s worth of notice next time, so you have time to accommodate their visit.
- You can even negotiate that to be signed as an addition to the tenancy agreement and make part of the contract.
Legitimate reasons for entry
- Move in / Move out inventory – Right at the beginning and right at the end of your tenancy, your landlord or letting agent will need to come in and benchmark the condition of the property. You can request a copy of each report and have a right to accompany the inspection or comment on the report’s statement. Read more from the Tenant’s Voice website – The Tenancy Inventory Check
- Requested or scheduled inspection of the property – Your landlord has a right to inspect the property on reasonable intervals throughout the tenancy. This gives them a chance to catch damage and deterioration before it turns into an expensive renovation project.
- Repairs and maintenance – Your landlord is responsible to maintain and repair the property after the tenant reports a problem, or an inspection has detected one. To do that however, the landlord will need to go inside the property.
- Allow access to workers for repairs and maintenance – When the landlord needs professional work done in the property, he can authorise workers to come in and do the necessary repairs. They will need access to the property to do their work.
- Annual gas safety check – Your landlord is required by law to renew the gas safety certificate by performing an annual check to the gas installation and appliances. The safety check needs to be done by a certified Gas Safe Register engineer and they will need to access the property to perform this check.
- Arrange viewings near the agreed end of the tenancy – When you’ve arranged the end of your tenancy, they may want to begin marketing the property to prospective tenants in efforts to miss void months. They will need to access and show the property around. It’s reasonable to expect that the property is in tidy condition for the viewings.
In cases of emergency
In an emergency, your landlord or their representatives will need immediate access to your home. At such times, they do not need your permission to access the property. This is very rare and usually only happens when safety issues are at stake. For example:
- There is a fire in the property
- There is a smell of gas
- Flooding coming from the property
- There has been structural damage which urgently needs attention
- There is the suspicion of a violent or criminal incident